After 39 years of being held in Traz Powell Stadium at Dade-North, the Northwest Express Track and Field Meet will be sprinting north and changing sites this year.
This year the meet, annually the largest track and field event in South Florida, will be held at the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar, 10801 Miramar Boulevard, starting Friday and running through Sunday.
The change in venue is just another hurdle for meet organizer Jesse Holt, who literally and figuratively deals with lots of hurdles this time of year.
“No, it’s not the usual routine,” Holt said of setting up the meet, “but the Ansin complex has a major-league track. We’re excited.”
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Holt said the change in site was because Dade-North has its track shut down in order to resurface it.
Holt, 72, expects more than 2,000 participants to converge on the Ansin Complex, and two of them will be his grandsons: 10-year-old Byron Holt in the 1,500 meters, 400 relay and high jump for the 9-10-year-old division, and 14-year-old Darren Holt Jr. in the shot put, discus and javelin for the 13-14 division.
To make it a complete family affair, Holt’s three sons — Alan, Reggie and Darren Sr. — help pull the competition together. No easy task when you have athletes ranging from 5 to 80 in age swarming over the premises.
“It will be great,” Holt promised, “but I couldn’t pull it off without the whole family.”
Of the meet’s field, Holt said: “We have more local clubs entered this year. And then we have 17 states represented, from California to everywhere.”
As usual, Jamaica — renowned for producing the world’s greatest sprinters including Usain Bolt — will be well-represented, and a big contingent is also coming from the Bahamas.
The featured runner/celebrity of the meet will be Florida State University graduate Walter Dix, who was born in nearby Coral Springs. Dix, 29, has two Olympic bronze medals to his credit from the 100 and 200 in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
If you go
What: Northwest Express Track and Field Meet.
Where: Ansin Sports Complex, 10801 Miramar Boulevard, Miramar.
Competitors: 2,000 track and field athletes from around the world and 17 U.S. states. Age range from 5 to 80 years old.
Schedule: Friday — 5 p.m. start for both track and field events; Saturday — 8 a.m. start for javelin, followed by other events; track events begin at 10 a.m. Sunday — Events begin at 10 a.m.